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tv   [untitled]    February 4, 2011 5:00am-5:30am PST

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the extent that we use some of it for -- related to the off- the-shelf system. it is in there. >commissioner murphy: commissioner walker? commissioner walker: i missed it if you explained it, but what was the 24% decrease in interest reflect? >> this is the deal. we know we have been building the budget with a higher interest-rate. based on the question that have come out here, we decided that we would ratchet it down foto where we have been for the last
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six years so we are not overly optimistic in the interim. i think you would be a millionaire if you knew what the interest rate would be. we just wanted to make it more realistic. commissioner walker: and what is that interest on? >> various fund balances that we have, a deferred fund credit, operating balance, our temporary fund. even our projects. the money that we've put away in the project fund that we take out of our operating funds, we receive interest on those funds. commissioner walker: do we determine where that is put? is that a city decision? >> it comes to the department.
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commissioner walker: i understand that, but who makes the decision on where we put that money? we have several billion dollars, our fund for 54 days, the computer, the buildup. do we decide where that goes? no. does the comptroller's office decide how to invest the funds? >> are you talking about how he would spend down? invest? commissioner walker: yes, i am just curious. this is our fund. it is in a pot controlled by the comptroller. >> there would be some restrictions on funding. for instance, the operating fund
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is pretty clear. if there is any money in the repair and demolition, ne earned interest has to go back to prepare and demolition. just like you cannot spend it for something that is not within the purview of the admin code. you cannot take the interest and put it into a different fund. it is restricted. commissioner walker: but we do not know where that goes to collect interest? we do not know how the funds are invested to gain the interest -- that is what the commissioner is asking. in other words, which bank account code to which bank. >> there is a really good section in the treasury's tax office that does that. commissioner walker: do we get
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paid for collecting all of the fees that we are collecting on behalf of other agencies? >> yes, we have work orders for the other agencies and we do charge them. there will be an increase in the line item budget. we had increased our charges to other departments by a small amount. commissioner walker: perfect. commissioner murphy:=lgp one lat question. we have x-amount of dollars. there is nothing controlling the supervisor to take account of that out of our fund? >> there is something preventing them from doing it. it would have to have a nexus with what the money was paid for in the first place. they can not willy-nilly take the money and use it for cars, something that does not have a benefit for for an enterprise f.
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they can find something related to what we do in another department and use that money for that and free up that money. but it has to be something related. we fought tooth and nail for that not to happen. the last two years, it has not happened. we were very adamant with the budget director and analyst that it is not appropriate. we do not have the capacity for them to do that. we do not have money sitting around for them -- commissioner murphy: that is adequate. let me follow up on that a little bit. can we create funds, let's say,
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for staff training if that would ensure that the general fund would not get their hands on it? is that too -- >> that has some pros and cons. commissioner murphy: you do not need to answer right now, but i would like you to address that at our next meeting. surry me a a little bit that we do not have enough money for training staff. we seem to nickel and dime all of the other stuff --
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i was pretty amusing listening to the check cashing conversation. i cannot believe that we are talking about it -- probably important -- but any corporation would have a record of people, when their checks are bouncing, they would say, credit card only. that would eliminate it. >> the credit card is not a good option. cashier's check only. it is an interesting thing. some people are doing it because they can float it, getting something done, but we run into a lot of people who have two different accounts for their construction, they took out of
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one account, when it should have been out of another -- >commissioner murphy: do we have a list of people that do this, a list of people that we do not accept checks from? >> we flag the permit and a person in the computer, so until the check is cleared, they cannot take out any more permits, no more permits issued on the property. we do it several ways on the computer. we do not have a list, per say. they cannot take out any more permits. they are flagged in our system. we take care of it as much as we can, but you have to realize a lot of these are onetime things. these are not repeat offenders. the case in point she was talking about, -- she spent four
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hours on it, i spent two hours myself. a property owner came in and decided they wanted to remodel something, walked out, got it remodeled in three days, and bounced a check on us. credit cards are harder to chase then bounced checks with the credit card company because they have up to 30 days to decline a credit card charge. so it is now 30 days later and we are trying to get the credit card charge and it is almost impossible. )8órcommissioner clinch: do we then charge extra related to -- >> that is up to the bank. if the treasurer tax collector has to do work there, we have set up some charges -- we would
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only get 75% of the money that was tied up. commissioner clinch: for bouncing a check with a bang, as an administrative fee, you pay a significant price. would we not perform a similar parallel? we are absorbent that cost through staff time. you spend of which you are ours, vivian had spent two -- four hours, vivan had spent two. >> i always thought $50 for the
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bad checks went back into the fund but it goes to the comptroller's office. it is something to look into. president murphy, the travel and training went up over $50,000 and it is budgeted at $250,000. commissioner murphy: i do not understand -- > >> the budget has gone up, now at a quarter million dollars. we had done a lot of code training. we have someone doing plumbing training.
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commissioner murphy: so you send staff to other cities for training? >> yes, and we also need to train our staff on city-mandated training for our supervisors. to the extent we can free them up from doing their ongoing responsibilities, we are trying to get them trained. commissioner murphy: i listened to 10 minutes of servers, hard drives, all that sort of stuff. i know nothing about computers but if i made servers and hard drives, i bring in someone to my office who knows exactly what
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they need, they run with it, implement it. it worries me a little bit that this new system we are bringing in -- is it really what we want? do we have experts telling us that this is what we want? >> yes. part of the million dollars is to have somebody come in to work with us in terms of making sure that what we are ordering is what we need. commissioner murphy: so we have people from the outside telling us what we need. do the stakeholders have any say in this? >> these are servers for behind- the-scenes operations of data management. the public that uses the permit tracking system does not see the server behind the scenes that runs the software. software and hardware are two
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different things. commissioner murphy:asli i understand that. it just seems, listening to all of this -- it is like the wwii department. any further questions? >> thank you. >> is there any public comment on item 4? >> good morning, commissioners. coalition for responsible growth. thank you for having this particular item on the agenda. i think it is important for many reasons. probably unfortunate that we do not go into the permit tracking system.
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the issues that come up there raise a lot of unanswered questions. >8v6i hope we get more examinan on the permit tracking system, which is the last agenda item. i was enjoying commissioner walker's inquiry into the interest and how it is allocated. 7-g is where is the loot? i appreciate that item being on the agenda. i deal with dbi on a regular basis. just some feedback that might be
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relevant to the discussion. it was said that there were six, eight people coming back. the category was not specific, but maybe we could see an increase in the number of mechanical engineers. the people that i talk to, staff that i talk to, where they see the gaping holes, the people that are in the trenches -- their observations are the ones that are responded to and that is where people are brought back in. training and all of that good stuff for the systems is important, but i hope their feedback is engaged. if we have to squander 5 $5 to refresh the servers, do not argue about it. it is not worth getting into a discussion.
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in million dollars sounds high to me. i would like to get specifics but i cannot get to it. they need to protect their system, so let them spend whatever they need. it is called a risk-management. we do not want to find ourselves with our systems down. the flexibility with employees we talked about earlier, it is a better usage of personnel, but there are some qualified engineers and stop that will not be able to be shifted around. thank you. commissioner murphy: any further speakers on this? seeing none. >> item five. update and discussion regarding the impact of ada requirements on small businesses and dbi's role.9 commissioner walker: do we need
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to approve this budget? ok. possible action to approve the proposed budget. >> we could have action where you ask for more information to be brought back. we have heard the budget twice and we will vote on this in february. we need five votes to approve. commissioner murphy: can i hear from counsel on that? >> city attorney's office. what ian said is correct. you need two hearings on the budget, approved the budget by at least five boats. -- votes. commissioner walker: thank you
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for that clarification. >> item 5? óhis there a presenter for item? >> dbi can give a short presentation and what has happened with ada and our partnership with the small business association, the mayor's office of disability. we had a press conference that was organized by supervisor chu.
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we did commit to providing any and all information, if small businesses come to us, we will help them with some of their problems. we are working in conjunction with the small business association to put out fires regarding what you actually need to address on ada issues, when you need to address them, how you need to address them. we will go more into this in or joint meeting next monday evening. there is a presentation for that. we also' from the mayor's office of disability, carla johnson, who can also tell you what we are doing in conjunction with the departments. >> good morning, commissioners. carla johnson, mayor's office of
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disability. good to see you all again. we are certainly supportive of dbi's effort to get the word out about this important topic. we participated in the meetings with supervisor to's office. there is obviously concerned about small businesses especially making sure that they get the correct information, accurate information, timely information and have the tools they need to comply with the americans with disabilities act. it is kind of an interesting discussion. the building department enforces the california building code, which has a lot of access provisions built into it. when somebody is building a new building or remodeling an existing building, a lot of these lawsuits that we have been seeing are in existing buildings, particularly smaller businesses that may not have undertaken any remodeling in
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recent years. the department of building inspection is in kind of a difficult position of not being able to enforce the americans with disabilities act. the americans with disabilities act is actually a civil-rights matter particularly. it is a civil matter that works its way through the courts when people file lawsuits, very different from building permits. so what supervisor chu has been doing, vivian, regina has been doing, is putting together some informational bulletin to let small business know some of the resources that are out there. there is specifically said bill 16078. this was a measure that was put on the bill to raise the bar, to increase the knowledge and expertise on behalf of the design professionals who give
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small business owners the advice they need. it also raises the bar for the building department by requiring there be a cas inspector, and these important measures in bill 16078 gives small business owners a tool to use services to about the way their business, put together a plan on what the barriers are, what it may cost to remove those barriers. b84÷if a small business owner us those services of a cas inspector and then is unfortunately faced with a lawsuit, it gives the business owner the ability to put this civil action on hold for 90 days as they tried to work out their
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issues and avoid the courts. so a lot of the courts -- reports talk about financial incentives, whether they are tax deductions, funds that can be used to remove barriers for your business. so i am pleased to hear the commission is interested in this subject. commissioner murphy: thank you. i have a question for our director. how many ada-qualified inspectors do we have on staff right now? >> we have one cas in specter right now, as required by the bill. -- inspector right now, as required by the bill.
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we are also putting money into the training budget. that training is very expensive.  certify a s inspector. is around $30,000. it is expensive, we are required to do it, it is state law, and we have put that into our training budget. we have several accessed disability specialists on staff. they are now cas inspectors, but they are trained in the ada issues. it is also mandated our building inspectors have eight hours of required training to be about access, disability access. commissioner murphy: so when you say we have a contractor, they may not be certified?
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>> we do have certified access specialists, but all of our current staff is trained in the 88 issuescs>u -- a d a issues. we also have a disabled section that we are putting together disabled access specialist. commissioner murphy: has the training program been implemented yet? >> not from cas inspectors yet. they are holding training in ventura. we do not want to send anybody down there yet. commissioner murphy: commissioner walker? commissioner walker: thank you for the attention. i have heard a lot from small business owners from the mission and south of market that someone is doing a lot of these
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lawsuits, as you said, existing businesses that have not engaged in tenant improvements at all. i heard about it -- just to give some background to folks out there. this is a good response in try to get this small business commission and mayor's office of disability, and our department, to take issues on disability and access seriously, but also provide the right information to business owners about what those requirements are. so thank you for doing this. look forward to an even more current update for our joint meeting, which i think is february 7, monday night at 5:00, for the joint small business commission and building commission. so thank you, carla. >> one other point that i meant to make, there are other resources available in the community, collaborative resources with the independent
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living resources of san francisco, to mention one agency that has really worked in the past to do outreach and to be a research for technical expertise as well. commissioner murphy: commissioner had to nova? -- hechanova? commissioner hechanova: pond unilateral compliance, there is no gap right now. that is a challenge. >> there is a challenge to reform the california building code to make it match as closely as possible the americans with disabilities act. that is an effort that has been underway since 1994. in the future, there will be a day where if you qualify for the california building code, you have that safe harbor confirmation that you will also
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comply with civil-rights legislation and the americans with disabilities act. commissioner hechanova: will that be a topic on monday's presentation? >> i think there will be a discussion on the differences between the california requirement and the federal requirement. there still is a gap there that has not closed yet. ?[tñwe will be discussing that n monday. >> it is a long topic. i will reserve that for monday. commissioner murphy: ok, public comment. >> bob planthold. i am someone who needs and benefits from a accessibility. >d s item

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